Wednesday, December 2

Braley and Loebsack Want More Specifics About Obama's Plans

Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) released the following statement tonight in response to President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan.

“In September, I sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama outlining many of my concerns about the situation in Afghanistan and stating my strong belief that we should not commit more troops to Afghanistan without a clearly defined exit strategy. As the Iowa National Guard prepares to deploy more than 3,000 soldiers to Afghanistan, we owe it to them and their families to have a comprehensive strategy that addresses fundamental military, political and economic challenges in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.

“I look forward to reading the specific details of the proposal laid out by President Obama in order to work with my colleagues to determine the best way forward for the people of the United States and Afghanistan.”

Congressman David Loebsack said:

“I firmly believe that we must put policy before politics, and I intend to hold the Obama administration as accountable as I did the Bush administration,” said Congressman Loebsack. “As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I plan on asking some tough questions during hearings and briefings in the coming days and weeks with our senior military and civilian leaders. Our servicemembers and their families deserve a thorough and accurate assessment of the President’s strategy, and I intend to make sure that they get it.”

“I plan to review the President’s decision extremely carefully to ensure that it supports our national security and lays out achievable and well-defined goals that will effectively deny al Qaeda a safe haven and allow our troops to come home,” added Congressman Loebsack.

Congressman Loebsack will be seeking some of the following details on the President’s strategy:

· Clearly laid out goals, a well-defined mission, and a rubric for measuring progress.

· An organized political-military structure within the plan that will fully utilize and coordinate our civilian economic, agriculture, political, and development resources with the military mission.

· A realistic accounting of the cost of this plan.

· A well defined plan to transfer responsibility for Afghan security and stability to the Afghan people so that our troops can come home. This includes a plan to help the Afghan government combat corruption and assume responsibility for their country’s future.

· A commitment from our NATO allies to support this plan with additional troops, civilian experts, and resources.

· A plan to work with the Pakistani government to further secure and stabilize the region and deny extremists who wish to do us harm a safe haven.